For many companies, asking for investor dollars can be intimidating: after all, it requires a company to parade itself—exposing some of its most confidential information: its strategy, customers, financials and operating practices — to outsiders. But bringing in a consultant early will help you identify the gaps and weaknesses, as well as hidden strengths, before the investors get the chance. Forewarned helps you get forearmed when it comes to raising capital.
The first thing a consultant will do to prepare your company for a meeting with investors is get to know your business, its strengths and its shortcomings. There are so many moving parts in a company—from operations to finances to the management team to the business plan—there’s no easy formula for impressing potential investors.
For example, audited financial statements always look better than books done yourself, but for a small business they may not be worth the additional cost. So, how do you prioritize your resources? That’s what the consultant can do for you— learn about your business and figure out an individual plan that makes sense for you.
Getting your documents in order
Most investors demand a small mountain of documentation that reveals a comprehensive picture of your company’s health. Compiling information that focuses only on what the investor needs is a daunting job. A consultant will show you how to create and organize all the information that will provide you with the best chance of success in raising the capital you need.
The consultant will examine your management team, history, strategic plan, hurdles and expectations – as well as the reasons you think those expectations can be met. Typically, companies don’t have the answers to all these questions on hand, but since they are the very things investors need to know, your consultant will work with you to find the answers. If the outcome to this examination results in your consultant feeling your idea is not investment-worthy, he or she will tell you before you spend time, talent and money that may be better invested in improving operations; with an eye toward raising capital when the time is right.
Pitching to investors
Once you have your documents organized and your plan mapped out, your next challenge is to pitch it to potential investors. Here too, a consultant can be an asset, assisting you with a presentation template, helping you design your pitch program and finessing your presentation style.
Bringing investors on board is a crucial step towards growth for many companies, but it need not be arduous. If your business has the potential to attract investment dollars, a consultant will make sure you put your best foot forward.